Ulysses Kansas and the School

Early days in Kansas were filled with courthouse wars and scandals of every type. We think its bad today but there were scammers even then.

One story my grandfather told was about the town of Ulysses. It seems they built a new beautiful brick schoolhouse and assessed taxes on it to the town. The people got tired of paying the taxes and so jacked up their buildings and houses and moved across the draw out of the city limits thereby leaving no one to pay for the school house.

Most buildings were on skids and could be towed by teams of horses or mules to new locations with ease.


Dodge City Early Days on the Railroad

My grandfather Fred Kirkpatrick who was born in 1889 in Dodge City lived a greatly varied life. He became a Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor early on and worked for the Sante Fe Railroad in Kansas surveying lines and tracks for a few years.

He told some great stories about those times which I think would have been about 1919 right after he returned from WWI.

One winter he was in Great Bend, Kansas doing some work which is about 85 miles from Dodge City. He boarded a train for a ride back home and it was below zero outside. A potbelly stove was trying to keep the coach warm but soon a contest was begun where each man was to put his foot outside in the cold as the train roared along the countryside.

It was so cold that one by one they all finally had to surrender to the cold and get their feet back inside except for one older gent. He was whistling and happy as can be and won the pot easily.

Later it was found out that he had a wooden leg. They all had a great laugh over that and let him keep the pot.


Road Canyon Reservoir

It appears that Road Canyon is the latest lake to go down for repairs. This will be short lived however and will reopen on June 12. Please call DOW or Forest Service to make sure its open before you make the long drive.

Will sample Big Meadows tomorrow and report back on the fishing. Paula's relatives are in town and they will have a blast with those dancing rainbows.


Continental Reservoir 2014

The newspaper reported today that the road into Continental Reservoir will be closed for this season. Work is going to be done on the spillway of the dam and it will be too dangerous to let the public in to fish or for any other outdoor activities.

SO with Beaver out also, that puts a real hardship on the fishermen here for the summer. The rest of the lakes will take a beating and with fears that Road Canyon Lake will turn acid from the ash runoff due to the fire last year, there is reason for real concern.



Hiking with Dennis 6-4-14

WE drove up to the end of the road above Coller area and then took off to the West on an old logging road.  We went by the old cabins and continued up to the bench below the peak. We picked up a horseback trail about 2 miles out and followed it until it went straight up a long, long hill.  We started at about 9200 ft elevation and stopped at 9960.


We saw lots and lots of wildflowers of all varieties; one place was literally carpeted with Heartleaf Arnica and Golden Banner.  The camera just can't convey how pretty it actually was.............


We drug a big rock far enough to attach it to a tree with a winch and sent it off the road; George it took 3 of us about 30 minutes to clear the road..


Please come and join us Monday, Wayne will be taking us on a great hike somewhere around South Fork.  Be there at 9AM with a lunch, water and a friend.



Hiking with Dennis 6-2-14

Wayne led 18 hikers into Lost Lake today, following a trail that he & Linda had flagged earlier so we didn't have to search for the right trail.  We had some guests with us that had a little trouble making it all the way but they made it!!  Lost Lake had the smallest pool of water I have ever seen in it; perhaps it has sprung a leak.....


According to my flower guide the Calypso Orchid is very seldom found and we are considered very lucky in seeing it.  The very small flowers on top of the overlook are amazing in their adaptation to their environment.  The views from the overlook never cease to impress all who that are fortunate enough to experience it.


Wayne will sub for Doug tomorrow so come to the VC and get ready for another great hike.  I will lead an easy hike Thursday, driving to almost the top above Coller and then following an old logging road as far as we can find it..........




ATV'ing Early Rockies

We have been going out on the ATV's some lately and the real challenge is finding trails that are open. A lot of the high country is blocked with snow and some of the trails are completely washed out. So caution is the word if you are going to go try some of the areas for a ride.

We were able to go up to Shorty Springs after church which is up toward Embargo Creek. This is a normally arid area all summer and can get very hot so early season rides there are best. Some friends from church gathered after services and we had a great time eating lunch at the small homestead. The door to the shack is so small and hence the name Shorty. I will have to get a pic for you later for that. Below see some friends who made the ride. My dad has been going several times a week and I am very proud of him. He bought his first off road machine this year at the age of 83. It will open up areas to him that he cannot access otherwise.

So, old or young there is opportunity for you to see the Colorado back country. We did have one machine quit on us and had to tow it down but that just proves that you should never go alone into the mountains if at all possible.

don and sharon1.jpg

Hiking with Dennis 3

Dennis Shepherd

2:40 pm (2 days ago)



We had a great day for a hike, soft breezes, cloudy skies and open country.  My intention was to take the group into Model T park using the old logging road which was cleared after the fire in 2002; however, I missed my turnoff point and we ended up clear up on top (thought it was a tougher hike than before) in another park!!  We turned around and started back down to find the turnoff but it started lightning and thundering so we opted for lunch and came back down the old road to the line fence.  When we reached the line fence we followed it straight down the hill to intersect the trail at the iron gate.  Will go to Model T another day, I'll program my GPS to insure I find the turnoff point properly...........

Welcome to Kim Howell to our group, believe me Kim not all the hikes are this demanding...

Wayne will be leading our hike next Monday, come to the VC before 9AM and enjoy a pleasant outing with our group.

Hiking With Dennis 2

Wayne Moulds led 14 of us down the Beaver Mtn. trail and then up to a knoll for our lunch room; lots of great scenery from our vantage point.  Not very many wildflowers out yet in this area, will be more in a few weeks.


It appears that high water & ice built up a dam of rocks and debris about 300 yards above the roadway, in the regular creek channel, forcing the water to divert to an old channel and then across the road.  The road is being washed out, about 12-15 inches of it has already been washed away......it made for an interesting crossing however.


The medicine tree is a Ponderosa Pine which has a vanilla odor, hence the sniff testing.......


Doug is planning on a trip to Model T park tomorrow, meet at the VC by 9AM ready for a great hike.............

Hiking with Dennis 2014

Once again Dennis takes the readers on hikes this season. If you are near South Fork look them up every morning at the visitors Center at 9 am.


Dennis wrote:

We started at Beaver Cr. road below the Million Res. dam and crossed the dam and followed Million Cr. as far as we could. We left the creek bed and went up, up and more up to the saddle East of Million Res. It took us about 1 hour to reach the saddle and then we took off to the South, up the canyon where the headwater of Million Cr. started.  We found LOTS of Elk sign all over the saddle and down in the canyon, looked like a highway instead of just a game trail.  We followed game trails as long as they were heading the same direction that we were, the rest of the time we made our own trails.

We made it to the top of ridge in time for lunch, got a few sprinkles while chowing down but not enough for raingear.  We followed the ridge until we thought we were directly above the parking lot South of the res. and then we started down toward it.  We were lucky and came out on the old road South of the parking lot and then on around the West side of the res. and back to the truck, arriving about 2PM.......

It was a pretty strenuous hike, Bob & David would both agree;  the Elk have an advantage with 4-legged locomotion while we were limited to 2-legged operation most of the time.  Sometimes we used all 4 limbs to get where we needed to go.........

Come to the VC Monday for a great hike led by Wayne Moulds, be there B4 9AM...........